Turkey ammunition depot blast kills 7 soldiers, wounded 20

25 soldiers were wounded and seven others were missing following an unexplained accident during the firing of heavy weapons ammunition. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 November 2018
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Turkey ammunition depot blast kills 7 soldiers, wounded 20

  • 25 soldiers were wounded and seven others were missing following an unexplained accident during the firing of heavy weapons ammunition.
  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the incident involved an ammunition depot explosion and resulted in seven deaths

ANKARA, Turkey:  Turkey's president said Saturday that at least seven soldiers were killed and 25 others wounded in an explosion at an ammunition depot at a base in the southeast.
The Defense Ministry previously said on Friday that 25 soldiers were wounded and seven others were missing following an unexplained accident during the firing of heavy weapons ammunition. The blast occurred at a base in Hakkari province, bordering Iraq and Iran. The base is mainly used for operations targeting outlawed Kurdish rebels.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — speaking at a memorial marking the 80th anniversary of the death of the Turkish republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk — said the incident involved an ammunition depot explosion and resulted in four deaths. He later told reporters before departing for Paris that seven soldiers were killed and 25 others were wounded in the explosion.
Four of the wounded were in serious condition and were being evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Ankara, Erdogan said. The others were hospitalized in Hakkari province.
The president said the cause of the blast was under investigation.
It wasn't clear if the explosion occurred during training or a clash against rebels.


Israeli army raids offices of Palestinian NGO

Updated 7 min 3 sec ago

Israeli army raids offices of Palestinian NGO

  • Israeli soldiers forced their way into the offices of prisoner support group Addameer in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah
  • No staff were in the office at that time as thousands of dollars worth of equipment, including five computers were seized

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: Israel’s army raided the offices of a prominent Palestinian NGO early Thursday, its director said, in an operation Amnesty International said aimed to “crush peaceful activism.”
Israeli soldiers forced their way into the offices of prisoner support group Addameer in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah at around 2:00 am, the organization’s director Sahar Francis said.
No staff were in the office at that time, she said, but Israeli forces seized thousands of dollars worth of equipment, including five computers.
“They searched the whole office,” Francis said.
Addameer works to support Palestinian prisoners in both Israeli and Palestinian prisons.
Israeli right-wing activists accuse it of links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union.
The Israeli army did not immediately respond to request for comment on the raid.
Amnesty International’s Deputy Middle East Director Saleh Higazi condemned the “chilling raid,” labelling it an Israeli attempt “to crush peaceful activism and silence NGOs.”
“This was a sinister and calculated attack designed to curtail Addameer’s vital human rights work,” he said in a statement.
The NGO, which documents allegations of abuse in Israeli prisons, has been raided twice before, most recently in 2012.
Francis said that time they had smashed the door and also seized computers.
“We never got back the things they stole in 2012, despite making a request,” she said.
An Addameer employee has also been detained without charge since last year under Israel’s administrative detention laws, Amnesty said.
Higazi said the raid was part of an intensifying Israeli campaign against civil society organizations.
Human Rights Watch’s director for Israel and the Palestinian territories is currently fighting an Israeli expulsion order over allegations he called for a boycott of Israel.
The country in 2017 passed a law banning entry to foreigners supporting a boycott.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since a 1967 war.
The office is in a part of the West Bank nominally under full Palestinian control, but the Israeli army regularly carries out raids in such areas.